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Fenton Street, Lancaster, Lancashire Archaeological Watching Brief Report

Tonks, David (2004) Fenton Street, Lancaster, Lancashire Archaeological Watching Brief Report. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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An archaeological watching brief was carried out at the former Royal Mail depot site off Fenton Street, Lancaster (NGR SD 4746 6153). The watching brief was undertaken by
Oxford Archaeology North for Fairclough Homes in advance of a residential development. This entailed the watching brief of the excavations of a service pipe trench, a network of
trenches between building-support piles and the excavation of a sewage pipe trench with associated manholes. The trenches and manholes were entirely mechanically excavated and the watching brief was carried out between 5th November and 13th December 2002. Excavation of the service trench on the eastern part of the site (Fig 2) occurred first and
revealed a possible surface at c 1.0m below ground. This surface had been cut by a gully which was overlain by an homogenous sandy clay, but no dating evidence was found
associated with these features. The trenches between the building support piles showed that the land in the south-west quadrant of the site had been levelled with the deposition of large amounts of overburden.
For the most part, the excavations were not sufficiently deep to disturb the underlying strata and, in the few small areas where they did, no significant archaeology was found. The overburden included redeposited natural which seemingly had been removed from the southeast quadrant of the site, when it had been terraced in order to level the site for the 20th century development of the area. Any archaeological remains would have been removed as a result of these works and, consequently, no archaeology was found. The trenches in the north-west quadrant demonstrated that this area had been cellared for use as vehicle inspection pits, and had then been then backfilled with large cobbles when the depot was
demolished. This cellaring did not extend into the natural sub-soils, but cut into the associated, aforementioned, terracing deposits. There is, therefore, the potential for
archaeology to survive at a greater depth, undisturbed by this development. However, at the depth of the present excavation no significant archaeological deposits were encountered. The excavation of the sewer trench and manholes, aligned approximately north south on the
eastern side of the development (Fig 2), also did not encounter any discernible archaeology. The manholes were dug to an approximate depth of 2.8m below the ground surface, and the trench itself to an average of 2.0m, within which the material was almost entirely redeposited
twentieth century backfill or overburden, likely to relate to the development for the Royal Mail depot. However, there is potential for archaeology to have survived beneath this
disturbance and, south of the second manhole, a layer was encountered that resembled the natural clay in composition and colour, but it contained small amounts of charcoal, and could have been redeposited natural. No significant archaeological deposits were identified in the
course of the work, and therefore the construction of the residential block will not impact on a significant archaeological resource.

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Lancashire
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology North
Depositing User: barker
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2022 11:18
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 11:18
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/6623

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